At a recent Leon County School Board meeting, Superintendent Rocky Hanna used a misleading CNN fact-check to publicly criticize Governor DeSantis’ rationale for the Parental Rights in Education bill, while ignoring facts related to a lawsuit filed against the school district.
The CNN fact-check uses selective comments from a DeSantis press conference, related to an incident which took place at a Leon County middle school, to question the rationale for the Parental Rights in Education bill.
The incident involved the failure of school officials to notify parents about a meeting with their daughter concerning gender issues. The parents have filed a federal lawsuit against the Leon County School Board.
Hanna, reading DeSantis’s comments from the CNN fact-check, said that “none of this happened, none of this is true, it is all fabricated…”
While DeSantis’s comments about the specifics of the incident were partly inaccurate, Hanna ignored facts that were consistent with the comments made by DeSantis.
What Hanna did not reveal in his comments to the school board is that school officials initiated an interview with the student as part of a “Transgender/Gender Nonconforming Student Support Plan” without including the parents.
Amid a debate over parental rights in education legislation (HB 1557/SB 1834), a review of policies across several Florida school boards indicates there is inconsistent guidance related to parental rights and student confidentiality.
For example, recent reports about elementary school officials in Clay County engaging in the counseling of a student without notifying parents revealed competing views about parental rights within the school district.
Clay county school officials allegedly defended their actions by invoking “confidentiality rules” to justify not including the parents in the counseling sessions.
However, a lawsuit filed notes that the Clay County Public Schools written guidance expressly contradicts the use of “confidentiality rules.” An exhibit attached to the lawsuit notes that children do not have a confidentiality right and that school officials must obtain parental consent before guaranteeing confidentiality to a child.
On Monday, the Child & Parental Rights Campaign, Inc. filed a lawsuit in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Florida on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Littlejohn against the Leon County School Board (LCSB) related to the Board’s gender policy. The defendants also include Superintendent Rocky Hanna and Dr. Kathleen Rodgers.
The suit alleges that the LCSB ignored the Littlejohn’s parental rights relating to their daughter’s gender confusion by concealing from them actions taken by school officials.
Child and Parental Rights Campaign, Inc. (CPR-C) is a non-partisan, non-profit public interest law firm whose mission is to defend parental rights and protect children’s well-being against the impacts of gender identity ideology.